Vegan Taco Lettuce Wraps! High protein, lower calorie tacos! Spicy tempeh and black bean taco meat wrapped inside crispy lettuce leaves with creamy avocado.
The first time I made these, we polished off the entire pan standing over the stove. With our mouths full of food, BL and I both looked at each other and said, “why don’t we eat lettuce wraps more often?”
Well, these have been in a regular rotation ever since.
If you haven’t tried tempeh before, these taco wraps are the perfect first recipe to try with. I know I say this often, but tempeh is one of the few vegetarian meat substitutes that BL just loves. He will tolerate tofu, but he loves tempeh. Crumbled and seasoned, it tastes like ground meat- but better. You get the benefits of protein without the cholesterol or saturated fat. I’ve got a whole primer on how to cook with tempeh, so start there if you need more recipes and cooking tips!
Tempeh is a fermented cake made from whole soybeans, which makes it easier to digest than other plant-based proteins (like beans and lentils!). I get mine at Trader Joe’s but you can also find it at Whole Foods and similar grocery stores near the tofu. Or, you can make it!
I call for steaming the tempeh here before crumbling to take away any bitter taste, but I’ve also been known to skip this step when I’m in a rush. It’s a not-necessary but recommended tip. If you’ve got the time, do it. However, don’t fret if you need to get dinner on the table without waiting for water to boil.
From there, this dish comes together in just 10 minutes. Add the tempeh, beans, corn and salsa. Season as you would tacos then serve in lettuce cups! Top with your favorites and this plant-based, high-protein dinner is served.
- 8 oz. tempeh
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. taco seasoning (or make your own)
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 4 oz. can green chilis
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup organic frozen corn, thawed
- 1 tbsp. hot sauce (like Tapatio- optional for more kick)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 head iceburg lettuce, halved and leaves separated
- 1 avocado, diced
- Additional toppings, as desired
- Bring a pot of water fitted with a steamer basket to a boil. Add the tempeh to the basket, cover and steam for 15 minutes. While this step is optional, it will help reduce any bitterness in the tempeh.
- Remove the tempeh and finely chop.
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- Add the tempeh and saute for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
- Add in the salsa, chilis, black beans, frozen corn and taco seasoning. Stir to combine and cook for another 3-4 minutes until combined and heated through.
- Place the filling in a bowl and serve with iceburg lettuce leaves, diced avocado and preferred toppings!
More Tempeh Meal Ideas: